THANK YOU FOR SMOKING: Angry Torch Wielding Villagers Demand End Of Smoking Ban, Bar & Restaurant Owners Claim Biz Down Nearly 50%

CHICAGO — Orland Park’s restaurants and pubs claim sales have plunged by half because of asmoker.jpg two-week-old smoking ban. Now the mayor is considering changes.

Dan McLaughlin, responding to a standing-room-only crowd of irate bar owners, wait staff, liquor distributors and residents at this week’s village board meeting, will suggest modifying a ban that has pushed customers to neighboring towns and left local businesses reeling.

The pronouncement came after about 100 ban opponents packed village hall Monday.

“We’re slighted by this ordinance,” said Brian Wojak, owner of Koppermill Bar and Grill in the south suburb. Wojak said his restaurant’s revenue is down 30 to 50 percent.

Tinley Park Trustee David Seaman said he isn’t persuaded by bars that say they’re on the brink of failure.

“If businesses fail, in all probability it’s because it’s a failed business effort — not because the smoking ban has changed anything,” he said.

In Oak Forest, which also banned smoking, leaders are hoping to call a special meeting to lift the ban by Sunday, when the Bears play the Saints.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Can’t Happen Here?

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